表征、话语、身份: 1936年-1950年中国译者英译《道德经》之研究

Translated title of the thesis: Representation, discourse and identity: a study of the English translations of Dao de jing by Chinese translators during the period 1936-1950
  • 劉驥翔

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


More importantly, the possibility is explored that this critical methodology can be employed to examine the translations of DDJ produced in other periods, so as to ask and answer questions of the representation of the source text and the construction of the translator’s identities. This thesis is organized into nine chapters. Chapter 1 reviews the literature on the study of translations of DDJ, and discusses the issues arising from approaches discussed above. Chapter 2 sets out the theoretical framework within which to pursue the line of inquiry proposed by this thesis. Chapters 3 to 8 provide detailed analyses of the representations of the six translations under study, and discuss the construction of the translator’s identity in each of these translations. Chapter 9 provides a summary of the findings, and suggests potential avenues for future research ;自1868年以来,到2011年为止,至少产生了143个《道德经》英译本,大部分译本都附有序言、评论、注释等副文本。Julia M. Hardy以及受其影响的学者将20世纪上半叶《道德经》英译的道家阐释总结为:一种可以帮助西方反思、批评或解救西方文化危机的东方智慧。但是本研究发现,此结论与已有的一些研究成果并不完全相符。不完全相符的原因在于,以往研究在总结某个时期的译本道家阐释时,未能批判使用“历史分期和“译者背景这两种研究途径来选择译本和阐释译本内容;而在这背后主导这两种研究途径的是均质、统一、连续、进步的历史观,以及离具体历史语境的、单一、固定的身份观。 针对以上《道德经》英译的研究途径问题,本研究将引入Michel Foucault(1972/2002)所提出的异质、断裂的历史观,以及Stuart Hall(1990,1992,1996)主张的历史构建的,变化的,复杂的身份观。在这两种理论视角之下,结合Hall(1997)的表征概念和Foucault(1981)的话语概念,来考察20世纪上半叶(1936年-1950年)所有中国译者的6个英译本,并将译文及与之相关的副文本结合起来,分析道家思想在这些译本中是如何被表征的,以及译者在表征过程中是如何构建其身份的。 本研究发现,在6个译本分析中,其中3个译本在不同程度上符合以往研究所总结的这一时期的道家阐释一种可以帮助西方反思、批评或解救西方文化危机的东方智慧;而其余三个译者则使用其他各种话语建构出完全不同面貌的道家思想;并且6个译者身份有着与其背景极为复杂的融合、排斥和转化关系,构建出一种变化、复杂,历史构建的译者身份。因此,“历史分期或“译者背景仍然可以作为研究的起点确立研究《道德经》英译史的范围,但需要批判地使用,从副文本出发结合与之紧密相关的正文考察译本表征和译者身份。更为重要的是,在后续的《道德经》英译史研究中,可以将这一方法去进一步考察其余各个时期和(或)有着某种译者背景的译本,揭示可能存在的译本表征和译者身份的多样性和复杂性。 全文共分九章。第一章为绪论,介绍《道德经》英译研究背景和研究现状,并反思均质、连续历史观和非历史身份观所带来的问题。第二章为理论框架,运用Foucault和Hall的相关理论思想来继续探讨这些问题。第三章到第八章将逐章详细分析每一个译本的道家表征,再据此探讨各个译者身份的构建。第九章为本研究结论和意义。 During the period 1868-2011, at least 143 English translations of the Daoist classic Dao De Jing (DDJ) were published, most of which were accompanied by a preface, commentary, annotation or other paratexts. Julia M. Hardy, whose work has exerted great influence on many scholars, has concluded that the translations of DDJ produced during the first half of the twentieth century were intended to provide a kind of eastern wisdom capable of helping the West to examine, critique or save its own culture, which was perceived to be in a state of crisis. However, a review of the literature suggests that Hardy’s conclusion has limited applicability, and it is argued here that this limited applicability can be attributed to the problematic use of periodization and background information about translators, which reflects an uncritical application of methodologies informed by a historical perspective that stresses homogeneity, unity, continuity and progress, as well as by a view of identity as non-historical, single and fixed. To address issues arising from the application of these methodologies to the study of translations of DDJ, this thesis adopts a historical perspective informed by Michel Foucault’s (1972/2002) discussion of heterogeneity and discontinuity, and follows Stuart Hall’s (1990, 1992, 1996) view of identity as historical, unfixed and complicated. With reference to Hall’s (1997) discussions about representation and Foucault’s (1981) discussions about discourse, thesis will examine all the six English translations of DDJ, along with the paratexts, published between 1936 and 1950, with a view to investigating how Daoism is represented in each of these translations and how the translators’ identities are constructed in the process of representing DDJ. Investigation shows that, of the six translations, three translations are to different degrees consistent with the conclusion drawn by previous studies that Daoism is treated as an eastern wisdom capable of helping the West to examine, critique or save its own culture. In the other three translations, however, Daoism is presented quite differently, with reference to various discourses. Moreover, the six translators’ identities are intricately related to their social, cultural or educational backgrounds. They may be integrated, excluded, and (or) transformed, as complex, provisional identities are constructed in historical contexts. These findings, to some extent, suggest that translators’ backgrounds and periodization can be critically employed as a starting point for demarcating the scope of study. However, such approaches should be supplemented by a thorough and systematic examination of paratexts.
Date of Award20 May 2015
Original languageChinese (Simplified)
SupervisorWai Ping YAU (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese language
  • Translating into English
  • 老子
  • 道德經

Cite this